Sheffield Wednesday in Portugal: Why Steve Bruce thinks the Championship promotion race is a tough one to call

Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce claims it is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty who will figure in the Championship promotion race next season.

There is just over a month to go until the start of the 2019/20 campaign and the Owls, currently away on a 10-day warm-weather training camp in Portugal, are not one of the bookmakers favourites to mount a top-six challenge.

But Bruce, who has led both Birmingham City and Hull City to the Premier League twice, winning a play-off final with each club, thinks the second-tier is too tough to call.

He told The Star: "When you look at Fulham and what they are doing, they have got to be there or thereabouts.

Owls manager Steve Bruce

"But the beauty of the Championship is you never know what can happen

"When we went up with Hull a few years ago, we were 66/1 outsiders. We were more odds on to go down than we were to get anywhere near promotion.

"You just can't judge the league."

Wednesday are scheduled to take on Reading at the Madejski Stadium in their league opener on Saturday, August 3.

"I never really look too far ahead at the fixtures because we all know what the Championship is like," stressed Bruce. "I know we have got Reading away and Barnsley in our first home game and there are probably a few people who are looking thinking 'that's not a bad start' but it never really works like that.

"I will get the team prepared as best as we can in pre-season. It helps if you get off to a good start and let's hope we can do it."

Bruce has put his players through their paces in the Portuguese sunshine. Their vigorous training routines in the heat have included plenty of fitness and ball work as Bruce prepares for his full season in charge.

The Owls return to England next Wednesday and kick off their friendly programme with a trip to Lincoln City on Saturday, July 13.